Brigham Young University has named John S. Tanner as its new academic vice president, replacing Alan L. Wilkins, who has been called to serve as a mission president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over the Argentina Buenos Aires North Mission. The appointment is effective June 1.
Wilkins, a professor of organizational behavior, has served as BYU's academic vice president since 1996 and as an associate academic vice president from 1993 to 1996. "We express profound appreciation to Vice President Wilkins," said BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson. "He has served with great effectiveness and devotion for 11 years in senior university leadership."
A BYU professor of English, Tanner recently served as chair of BYU's English Department. From 1992 to 1998, he was BYU's associate academic vice president for the undergraduate and international areas.
"John Tanner is a fine scholar, teacher and administrator," said Samuelson. "We are honored to have him at the university and appreciate his willingness to serve."
A recipient of three major BYU teaching awards -- Honors Professor of the Year, an Alcuin Fellowship in General Education and the Cougar Groomer Award -- Tanner has served in many capacities at the university. As an associate academic vice president, he was instrumental in streamlining BYU's curriculum to help students graduate in a more timely manner. During his tenure, he unveiled BYU's Freshman Academy and was instrumental in developing the Aims of a BYU Education document and BYU's policy on academic freedom.
Tanner has published and spoken widely on religion and literature, specializing in the works of John Milton. In March at the International Milton Congress, he presented "How Jefferson and Adams Read Milton, and Milton Read Them" and last year published "The English Revolution, Milton, and the Roots of Religious Liberty in America" in the book Lectures on Religion and the Founding of the American Republic.
He is the recipient of a James Holly Hanford Award for "the most distinguished book on John Milton," which was published by Oxford University Press.
Tanner has been a professor at Florida State University, an instructor at the University of California at Berkeley and a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil. He received his doctoral degree from the University of California at Berkeley.